6 October 2011 (date?)
Ordinary northerners still believe that President Goodluck Jonathan, who hails from the Niger Delta in the south, cheated their hero, Muhammadu Buhari, a retired general and former head of state, in last April’s elections. More than 800 northerners died as enraged youths took to the streets in protest.
Moreover, unemployment and poverty rates are higher in
’s north than in other parts of the country. A powerful and wealthy feudal elite that has maintained power for two centuries through a mix of authoritarianism and religious sentiment now feels embattled following its loss of power in Nigeria and, with it, the means to dispense patronage to formerly obsequious followers. Abuja
Given all of this, it is perhaps not surprising that impoverished and restive northern youth are joining Boko Haram in droves. The increasing sophistication of the attacks on public buildings has led to speculation that the sect is linked to international terrorist networks, probably Al Qaeda in the Maghreb or Al Shabab in
. To make Boko Haram appear more potent, its members play up this alleged affiliation, and even claim to have the support of “important” people in the northern part of the country. Somalia